Is The Administration Blocking Access To The Guardian?

260px-The_Guardian_front_page228px-Picture_of_Edward_SnowdenWe have been following the effort by countries like Iran and China to block access to particular sites viewed as anti-Islamic or anti-social. However, I have heard from a couple U.S. government employees that, since the Snowden disclosures, their agencies have blocked access to the Guardian website. When they try to get on to the site at the Energy Department for example it is simply blocked. I am trying to get answers from the Administration but wanted to ask some of our regulars for help on these reports.

This is a pretty large blog with a lot of government workers who check in on a daily basis. We would love to know (confidentially) if you are also blocked in gaining access to The Guardian. I have heard from readers at the Library of Congress and DHS who say it is not blocked. One reader said that he thought it might be a filter on sites that have live feeds or other security issues.

We have been discussing how U.S. mainstream media has yielded to pressure from the Administration to call Snowden a “leaker” rather than a “whistleblower” as well as CNN and MSNBC media figures who have been mocking Snowden or vilifying him. Moreover, Americans have been complaining that they are getting more information on Snowden from the foreign media, particularly in his status as a whistleblower. Foreign media outlets, particularly the Guardian, have filled the void with additional stories on massive warrantless programs.

Blocking the Guardian, if true, would be a particularly ham-handed effort like changing his Wikipedia page. However, with the public still largely viewing Snowden in a positive light and fearing their own government more than terrorists, the government (including Congress) appears increasingly desperate.

For any of our government regulars, let us know if you are blocked from viewing the Guardian. You can email directly at the law school.

30 thoughts on “Is The Administration Blocking Access To The Guardian?”

  1. “Confidentially”? My understanding is that nothing is confidential these days. Sadly, unless someone plans to contact you by carrier pigeon, the government will not only know…they be a silent observer to the communication.

  2. “Think its time we STOP, children, what’s that sound?
    Everybody look what’s goin’ down.” — Buffalo Springfield

    The Silence of the Lamb Chops

    Let us bow our heads in silence
    Let us close our shuttered eyes
    Let us ask no pointed questions
    Let us rather swallow lies

    Let our government mislead us
    Let them wallow in the waste
    Let us eat the crap they feed us
    Let us grow to like its taste

    Let them praise their stalwart courage
    Let us meekly toe the line
    Let the rich cut all their taxes
    Let the poor ones pay the fine

    Let us do no thing unbidden
    Let us ask permission first
    Let them keep the water hidden
    Let us rather die of thirst

    Let them keep our business secret
    Let us not know what they do
    Let them keep us safe from knowing
    Let us smile while us they screw

    Let the dead come home to quiet
    Let them spare us from the sight
    Let us never start a riot
    Let them send some more to fight

    Let us never raise our voices
    Let them whisper in our ear
    Let them order us to slaughter
    Let us live in abject fear

    Let authority compel us
    Let them prod the panicked herd
    Let them with cheap jargon quell us
    Let us scatter at their word

    Let them mumble mealy mouthfuls
    Let them bumble, lean, and tilt
    Let them tumble, trip, and falter
    Let them crumple all we’ve built

    Let them loan us Chinese money
    Let them keep us all in pawn
    Let them dine on milk and honey
    Let us let them lead us on

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2008

  3. As the corporate/military government of the United States likes to say (and as the spectacular disaster known as U.S. foreign policy tends to confirm):

    Ignorance is Strength

    Hence, the ever-metastasizing policy of the U.S. Ostrich:

    Managing the Mushrooms

    The mushroom school of management
    Has two rules, brief and stark:
    You feed them only excrement.
    You keep them in the dark.

    For if they’ve only dined on shit
    And never seen the light,
    They’ll take whatever you see fit
    And thank you for their plight.

    Oh, keep us safe from knowing, please
    The things you’ve done and do.
    And let no one disturb the ease
    With which you lie on cue.

    Imagine if we only knew
    Of all our rights you’ve taken?
    Much better we admit what’s true:
    Our rights we have forsaken.

    Oh, Corporate Power on your throne
    We beg you: Keep us quiet.
    Divide us so that each alone
    Can never start a riot.

    Don’t tell us. We don’t want to know.
    From our own minds protect us.
    And if we ever should inquire,
    Of treason please suspect us.

    Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2012

  4. Chuckyboy Schumer calls Snowden a traitor. Get a third party in NY and vote that schmuck out.

  5. Jonathan:

    Don’t believe any future excuse the gov’t might come up with saying that an entire news website was blocked due to concerns over streaming media. Firewalls can be configured to be very selective in what to bring in. They can block requests for certain video file types, such as .flv, .mpeg, .avi, .mov and so forth and still bring in the rest of the content from the site. If a site is predominantly streaming such as netflix or youtube I can see an entire domain being blocked but that is not the case with the guardian. Besides, it would be highly suspicious of msnbc was blocked but the guardian was not.

  6. I work at the Dept. of Energy. Yes, access to the Guardian was blocked shortly after the Snowden/NSA issue came up in the press. Still cannot access the site from my work computer, have also heard that US military cannot access.

  7. Word Press is blocking comments about how the military likewise blocked photos and information about something they did on this date in the past.

    Blocking the Guardian would fit into that category and vice versa.

  8. Oh look! A 100 million copies of my comment appear hours later.

    There is a sort of sanity in preventing ‘people who know’ from reading classifed information from unclassified sources.

    It’s in a section that I highlighted above.

    “One of the purposes for preventing this spillage is to protect Centcom personnel from inadvertently amplifying disclosed but classified information.

    One could get a situation where a group of governmnent workers are discussing some classified information published by e.g. The Guardian.
    Because they are in a work situation, they feel free to discuss. One of the people knows more than has been revealed about whatever program or incident, but assumes that all has been revealed. They say something. Everyone else goes “Really?” Oops!

    The same sort of problem could occur ‘out of office’ when talking to J Random Family/Friend, but it really depends on the ‘person who knows’ never engaging in a discussion *anywhere* of what might have been revealed by those sources.
    They could have viewed it out of office or have been told about it.

    Why one would block all of military Afghanistan from reading the Guardian is a bit hard to fathom.

Comments are closed.